Melanoma growth effects on molecular clearance from tumors and biodistribution into systemic tissues versus draining lymph nodes☆

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Factors produced within or administered directly into the tumor interstitium, such as cytokines, chemokines, proteases, exosomes, microvesicles, or therapeutic agents, play important and multifaceted roles in the regulation of malignant disease progression. Their bioavailability to mediate signaling in distributed tissues outside of the tumor microenvironment, however, has not been well described. We therefore sought to elucidate the relative extent to which factors from within the primary tumor disseminate to systemic tissues as well as how these distribution profiles are influenced by both hydrodynamic size and the remodeling tumor vasculature. To accomplish this goal, we intratumorally co-infused into the dermal lesions of B16F10 melanoma-bearing mice at prescribed times post tumor implantation a near infrared fluorescent tracer panel ranging from 5 to 500 nm in hydrodynamic diameter and compared the in vivo clearance and biodistribution profiles to that of naïve animals. Our results indicate that tumor growth reduces tumor-draining lymph node accumulation and alters the distribution of tumor-derived factors amongst systemic tissues. Despite these changes, previously developed principles of size-dependent lymph node drug targeting are conserved in melanomas, suggesting their applicability to sentinel lymph node-targeted drug delivery. Tumor progression was also found to result in a significant increase in the hydrodynamic size of factors originating from the tumor that accumulated within systemic tissues. This suggests that tumor vascular remodeling may redirect the organism-wide signaling activity of tumor-derived factors and may negatively contribute to disease progression by altering the bioavailability of molecules important to the regulation of pre-metastatic niche formation and the induction of anti-tumor immunity.

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